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Double A's 'Paper from KHAN-NA' program wins Asian CSR Awards 2011 for poverty alleviation

MANILA, PHILIPPINES: Paper from KHAN-NA, a unique sustainable tree farming program of Thailand-based premium quality paper maker Double A (www.DoubleAPaper.com), emerged as the winner in the Poverty Alleviation category of the 9th Asian Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Awards, claimed to be Asia's premiere awards program in corporate social responsibility.

Alleviating the lives of Thai farmers from poverty

Double A Paper launched Paper from KHAN-NA program with the goal to modernise the pulp and paper industry through a revolutionary Asian solution to sourcing fibre. Paper from KHAN-NA is the production of sustainable fibre through the cultivation of Double A Paper-Tree, a hybrid species of hardwood which is well adapted to Thailand's tropical climate, in straight rows along Khan-Na, the unused space between rice paddies.

This program seeks to address two social issues faced by Thai farmers such as the difficulty of finding agricultural employment during off peak season and the instability of income from planting cash crops which is directly affected by several factors such price fluctuation.

Under this program, Double A offers farmers with a buyback guarantee which they earn after 3-5 years of paper tree cultivation. Matured trees are sold back to Double A which will be used as a sustainable raw material for high quality paper production. In this process, Thai farmers enjoy the aggregate additional income of up to THB5 billion (about R1.32 billion/US$164 million)*.

Double A Paper from KHAN-NA also provides occupational opportunities for the community. Aside from the buyback guarantee farmers also earn supplementary income from cutting matured trees, transporting logs to Double A mill and working in nurseries where tree saplings are initially grown. The additional income that farmers earn enables them to send their children to school.

Double A Paper from KHAN-NA is already a nationwide program which covers 60 provinces of Thailand. The program aims to encourage additional 10 000 farmers every month and 1 million farmers after 5 years.

Environmentally responsible production of fibre

While increasing the farm income, Double A Paper from KHAN-NA also increases carbon capture and helps in preserving the world's natural rainforests from deforestation. 400 million Double A Paper-Tree grown along KHAN-NA absorbs 6.7 million tons of CO2 per year. Paper from KHAN-NA produces sustainable fibre without the need to source from natural forest trees to support its fibre requirements. This is Double A's approach to raising sustainability among the local communities and while preserving the environment for generations to come.

Asia's premiere CSR awards program

The yearly event organised by the Asian Institute of Management (AIM) recognises and honours Asian companies and non-Asian companies with strong presence in the Asian region alike for their excellent CSR works and commitments. The awards come in four categories namely Health Enhancement, Environmental Excellence, Poverty Alleviation, and Educational Improvement.

Benigno S. Aquino III, the president of the Philippines, handed over the awards to the winning companies. The awards were presented by the Ramon V. del Rosario, Sr. Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility, the Asian Institute of Management and Intel.

Asian CSR Awards concludes the 2-day Asian Forum on Corporate Social Responsibility (AFCSR) held at the Edsa Shangri-la Hotel which brought together in one venue the very best CSR practitioners in Asia and other parts of the world to share the how to's of CSR. The conference is said to be the best program in the region assembled on CSR.

Go to www.doubleapaper.com for more information.

*Exchange rate at time of posting: 3.8TBH [Thai baht): R1)



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